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Packers GM Wolf To Retire

Ron Wolf, the architect of the Green Bay Packers' return to the Super Bowl in the mid-1990s, is retiring as executive vice president/general manager.

Coach Mike Sherman will take over in a dual role after Wolf's last day on June 1. Wolf had three years left on his contract and will serve them as a consultant to the team.

"We've had a great ride here," an emotional Wolf said Thursday at a news conference at Lambeau Field. "We've accomplished a lot."

Sherman, a head coach for just one season, said he has a lot to learn.

"I do not assume to be Ron's equal in regard to personnel matters," Sherman said. "He's is the very best. ... But I am Ron's equal in regards to passion for the Green Bay Packers."

Wolf, 62, joined the Packers in late 1991, and hired Mike Holmgren as coach the next season. Wolf also acquired quarterback Brett Favre in a trade with Atlanta and signed Reggie White as a free agent.

After 25 years of futility following the glory days of Vince Lombardi, the Packers climbed to the top of the NFL under Wolf. Green Bay reached the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons, beating New England in the '97 Super Bowl for its first championship since 1967 and then losing to Denver in the '98 title game.

The Packers won three straight NFC Central titles starting in 1995, and also own the NFL's second longest home-field winning streak at 25 straight regular season games. The streak started Sept. 17, 1995, and ended with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings Oct. 5, 1998.

Holmgren resigned after the 1998 season, the last time the Packers reached the playoffs.

Wolf hired Ray Rhodes, but fired him after an 8-8 season. Wolf said the team lacked discipline under Rhodes, who was replaced by Mike Sherman, a former protege of Holmgren.

Sherman guided Green Bay to a 9-7 record last year, but the Packers failed to qualify for the postseason.

Wolf was known for having an eye for talent, with 75 percent of his draftees since 1993 still playing in the NFL at the end of the 1999 season.

Wolf began his NFL career as a scout for the Oakland Raiders in 1963. He joined the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as vice president in 1975 before returning to the Raiders as player personnel director in 1978. He left the Raiders in 1990 for a similar position with the New York Jets.

In 1991, while with the Jets, he spotted Favre on the Falcons' sideline. Wolf's first order of business as Green Bay's GM was to fire Lindy Infante and replace him with Holmgren. Next, he sent a first-round pick to the Falcons for Favre, who became a three-time MVP and the cornerstone of Wolf's rebuilding project.

On April 6, 1993, he lured White to Green Bay and the pieces were in place for the Packers' return to glory.

©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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